The real threat to Google

It's not the prospect of a Microsoft-Yahoo deal. The Web giant's bigger worry is the mobile phone in your pocket or purse. Here's why.
By BusinessWeek

Google's biggest threat may not be Microsoft (MSFT, news, msgs) or Yahoo (YHOO, news, msgs).

No, one of the most formidable challenges facing Google (GOOG, news, msgs) is likely sitting in your pocket or purse. It's your cell phone, and it will put added pressure on Google and other Internet companies to revamp the way they handle online marketing.

As more people use cell phones -- with their tiny glass screens -- to gain access to the Internet, Google and other online advertisers will have less space, or what's called ad inventory, in which to place marketing messages for customers. Google makes money selling ad inventory and a cell phone just doesn't provide much room for it.

Google can fit about 10 ads on a standard computer screen. (If you look at Google search results on a PC monitor, paid ads are the listings at the very top and along the right.) But on your cell phone, if you type in a search query at you get only one or two paid ads in response.

Imagine the horror that would befall your business if a large slice of what you sell suddenly disappeared. A similar fate could befall companies that depend on online advertising, as small screens become the gateway to the Internet.

No one's suggesting that consumers will abandon standard computer screens overnight. And early research shows that mobile advertising may be more effective than standard online advertising, suggesting that it will be more lucrative for the companies that rely on it. Still, the shift is coming fast enough that Google must start preparing now.

It was Apple (AAPL, news, msgs), a frequent Google collaborator, that tipped the trend. Consumer use of mobile Internet in the United States has longed trailed that of Asia and Europe, where standardized cell networks made it easier for handset makers to produce gadgets that tap the Web at blazingly fast speeds. But in the summer of 2007, Apple rocked America by launching the iPhone. The computer maker wasn't the first to put the Web on phones, but for many consumers, the iPhone made the experience more robust.

Almost two-thirds of Americans have had some experience with mobile Internet use, and the adoption trend is most pronounced among teens and young adults, according to Pew Research Center. About 60% of adults 18 to 29 use text messaging every day, compared with only 14% of their parents. Nearly one-third of young adults use mobile Internet. This is the future; people take their media habits with them as they age.

So, as Apple and demographic trends thrust the mobile Internet upon us, how will advertisers and we consumers of electronics respond?

Google will try to expand ad "shelf space," especially by redesigning cell-phone software. In November, Google announced it was launching an Open Handset Alliance to design a new operating system, code-named Android, which would provide a "truly open and comprehensive platform" for cell-phone users. A few scratched their heads as to why Google would get into the cell-phone interface business. But now it's clear: Web screens will soon be two inches wide, and Google wants a say in what fits on that tiny screen.

Our bet is that the new Android interface will encourage mobile device users to flick through multiple layers or pages, similar to the iPhone album-art menu. This would create more room for ads.

Expanding the visual ad inventory will be crucial for Google, as evidenced by the recent announcement that it will begin selling small display ads on cell-phone screens.
Another implication is that consumers may have to start paying for "free" stuff.

Sure, there's a lot that's free on the Web now, as many, including Chris Anderson of Wired, have noted. Yet, even Anderson notes that most "free" content models really just transfer the hidden cost from you to third-party advertisers, who subsidize your content in hopes of getting attention. If online social media such as Twitter, Facebook or Digg can't figure out ways to entice money from advertisers, they'll have to grab it from you.

Our hunch is that free content systems may stick to the big Web pages, where more ads can fit. For tiny screens, systems such as Twitter that work well in small detail will eventually have to charge, make money some other way or go away. Consumers push back on paying for something that is already free, so the only solution may be to keep ads very minimal -- and very personal.
Which brings us to one of the biggest implications of wider use of the mobile Web. Advertisers will increasingly rely on personalization.

Today, collections of Web sites known as ad networks track consumer behavior across multiple sites, and then shoot targeted ads to users. This behavioral targeting approach, found via WPP Group's (
WPPGY, news, msgs) 24/7 Real Media, Blue Lithium, Tremor Media and other Web networks, often results in ad response rates five to 10 times higher than standard banner ads.
Personalization works, and several companies are devising ways to make it work better.

Microsoft recently filed a patent application that would use offline data such as credit-card transactions, estimated physical location (from cell-phone towers) and TV viewing habits to serve you a customized ad the next time you go online. (Microsoft owns and publishes MSN Money.)

The fact that you bought cleats for your kids this morning, went to a high school football game in the afternoon and turned on ESPN when you got home would conceivably trigger a personalized sports ad on your cell phone.

ComScore (SCOR, news, msgs), the Web site ranking service, is taking a different approach, using "biometric signature" profiling to match the keystrokes and mouse-click patterns of different users on a single computer. The idea here is to get beyond the gadget to the individual user who touches it. The system can identify whether Dad or Mom or Sis is sitting at the keyboard, and then match the individual user with a rich profile of demographic data to improve ad targeting.

Pondering all this, we called Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, to see what concerns privacy groups might have about a future where marketers track your every move.

Personalization is actually a great idea," Rotenberg said, "but it should be done in a way that doesn't require detailed data collection" about an individual.

It's a nice hope -- that advertising and Google can survive in a world where the ways to reach consumers via glass screens grow smaller and smaller. But we suspect hyperintrusive data profiling is coming fast.

After all, Internet screens will soon be a lot smaller. And no company as rich or as smart as Google will give up so crucial a slice of sales without fighting back.

This article was reported and written by Ben Kunz for BusinessWeek.

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Cell Phone Reverse Number Lookup - No More Unknown Phone Numbers

By Jay Phillips

Cell phone reverse number lookup directories are not only useful to private detectives, lawyers and researchers but they can be very useful to regular people. For example, how many times have you received prank calls, did you know that there are people who are constantly harassed by such calls? Today thanks to the reverse phone lookup directory all you need to stop these calls is a phone number. Simply log in, type in the number and in two seconds you will have that persons name and address which you can then simply hand over to the police and have them solve this problem.

Or you find an old number in your wallet, cell phone memory or in your old phone book, it looks familiar but no matter how much you try you can't remember who it belongs to. You could simply call this number and find out who gave it to you, but that could possibly cause you a great embarrassment. Easier way to solve this predicament is to simply look it up and find out the owners name.

Perhaps your girlfriend or wife has been receiving a lot of calls from a number you can't recognize. Next time it happens memorize it or better yet write it down, and simply use reverse phone lookup to find out who owns it. Or perhaps you have noticed an unknown number constantly appearing on your phone bills, when you ask your wife or kids about they all play innocent, well now you have a way to find out who owns it without them ever finding out about it.

However not all reverse lookup websites will provide you with the all information you may need. If the number in question is a cell phone number free directories will not be of much use. Free directories can help you get more information regarding regular landline phones, but when it comes to cell phones you'll be just wasting your time by using them.

Paid cell phone reverse number lookup directories do charge a small fee for their services, but it is a one time only charge and a small one as well. In return you will receive at least a full year of unlimited lookups as well as access to more advanced search services like people search, criminal and background records check and e-mail lookup to mention just a few.

It is important to choose the right reverse phone lookup directory, as not even all paid directories will have these additional services. If you are already paying for something why not get the best service you can for the same cost?

No matter if you are a professional or not, and for whatever reason you may need it - good cell phone reverse number lookup directory can help you feel more secure and get you the information you need.

Need to trace a cell phone number? Visit us and use our cell phone number reverse lookup directory! We are not free, but we are cheap and reliable and will get you the information you need!

Jay Phillips has years of investigation experience and works as a consultant for

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